Conservation Pioneers in Namibia, by Peter Bridgeford
Conservation Pioneers in Namibia by Peter Bridgeford, is a book of personal stories and reminiscences, is about some of the many people who worked in the conservation field over the years, in South West Africa, later Namibia.
In about 2010 I told my wife Marilyn that I wanted to collect stories from ex-conservation colleagues and produce a book. Many of the people were getting old and some had already passed away and their stories and experiences lost. I remember meeting one of the rangers who had worked in Etosha and telling him about my idea. He was very enthusiastic, but when I said he had interesting stories to tell and he had to write them for me, his tune changed immediately. I realised I would have to do a lot of nagging and pestering to get my colleagues to put pen to paper. So in the end, I abandoned the idea. The late Ian Player, probably the best-known conservationist in southern Africa, had this to say in 2005, in an article he wrote for The Game Ranger, the newsletter of the Game Rangers Association of Africa:
"In fifty-three years that I have been involved in wildlife conservation, the most frequent BLEAT that I have heard from game rangers is 'I can't write'. This of course is completely untrue and has been proved wrong by many rangers. The importance of the personal story can never be over emphasized and any ranger serving his country and his profession owes it to future generations to record his own personal story. Conditions in national parks, game reserves, nature reserves all over the world are changing rapidly and whereas there will be vast amounts of information available from annual reports and the multitude of scientific documents, what was and is happening in the heart of the matter is likely to be forgotten. Historians and ordinary people in the future will want to know what experiences, traumas and emotions, difficulties and triumphs the individual experienced in order to get a true and balanced sense of the period".
However, in 2014, after Marilyn passed away, I needed something to focus on and keep me busy during a difficult time. So the idea was reborn and I decided to go for it. Now, years later, I have collected enough stories, tales and snippets of history to fill a book. It has not been easy and I think many of my ex-colleagues cursed me several times when I phoned, emailed and phoned again and again. In the end, it was worth it! We have lovely stories about what it was like to work for conservation in those early days, the hard times, funny stories, the tears and the laughter. We also proved that what Ian Player said, was true. I would like to thank the many old friends, new friends, ex-colleagues or their families, who contributed to this book. Several gave me their collection of photos/slides to go through and make copies, others sent biographies of loved ones or friends and I have had the pleasure of meeting many of these people, or corresponding by email with others scattered all over the world. I hope the book lives up to your expectations and I thank you all for helping me get through the difficult times. [...]
This is an excerpt from Conservation Pioneers in Namibia, by Peter Bridgeford.
Title: Conservation Pioneers in Namibia
Subtitle: And Stories by Game Rangers
Editor: Peter Bridgeford
Contributors: see table of content
Published by: Peter Bridgeford
Walvis Bay, Namibia 2018
ISBN 9789991668192 / ISBN 978-99916-68-19-2
Softcover, 15 x 21 cm, 412 pages, 150 photographs, 6 maps and several drawings
Bridgeford, Peter und Berry, Hu und Berry, Conny und Aschenborn, Dieter und Stark, Peter und de la Bat, Bernabe und Rocher, Stoffel und Blom, Meynderd und Brisley, Johan und Tinley, Lynne und Holtzhausen, Sixie und Fryer, Dick und Reid, Rob und Leibnitz, Erwin und Joubert, Eugene und du Preez, Kallie und Heinrich, Dirk und Sterley, Roy und Böhme, Hanjo und Jankowitz, Willem J. und Noli, Gino und Paxton, Mark und Baker, Linda und van Niekerk, Chris und Brain, Conrad und MacDonald, Allisdair und Beytell, Ben und Mauney, Ginger und Schubert, Sonja und Behrens, Ingo und Lenssen, Achim und Brand, Piet und Alberts, Stacey und van Rensburg, Jan und Scotty Kyle, Robert und leRoux, Hendrik und Jordaan, Gert und Rose, John und Hiseman, Rhett im Namibiana-Buchangebot
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